Run, Baby, Run

I’ve been running.

A lot.

After my successful completion of The Great Chocolate Race in early November, I decided to fill the next few weeks with more races. On Thanksgiving, I completed the local Turkey Trot (5k), and this past weekend, I ran in the OUC Half Marathon.


I’m getting faster.

I’m getting stronger.

I’m getting happier.

I’ve basically stopped weighing myself, and I hardly count calories now. I focus on meals as an opportunity to fuel my runs, and, as a result, I find that I obsess less about food and make healthier choices naturally.

I can’t wait for the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge: just four weeks away!

~ Tori

Still Here!

I didn’t post Friday-Sunday, but it wasn’t because I fell off the wagon: I was literally just so exhausted each day from my action-packed weekend, I didn’t have the steam (or motivation) to post!

Friday my grandmother came to spend the day with me to celebrate her 74th birthday. She’s like the perfect combination between a crazy, eccentric German woman and a toddler; she’s brilliant and funny, but if you don’t keep your eye on her, she runs off and eats sand or something.

She loves the beach, so I took her to New Smyrna Beach!

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Kidding, kidding, but she does require a lot of energy and attention. She lives alone, so when we’re together she basically pummels me with conversation, which is definitely enjoyable but surprisingly exhausting after a few straight hours.

She’s also a diabetic who refuses to eat right, so I’m constantly aware of what she’s doing, eating, and drinking, making her check her blood sugar and cancelling her order (and getting herself she should be eating) when she turns her head at the restaurant.

Saturday, my husband and I spent the whole day at Disney World and had a blast. We ran around Magic Kingdom all afternoon, and then wrapped up our evening at Epcot. Despite our workout that morning, we still managed to get in an additional 20,000 steps (putting me at almost 38k for the day!) by the time we got home around 11pm. Yeah, needless to say, we crashed hard that night.

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On Sunday, we went out to lunch with friends (Vietnamese! Pho is my jam!) and then went to the Orlando City Soccer Game that night.

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Yes, I budgeted calories for that Jell-O shot, and it was worth it!

All three days, I managed to control my eating and stay on track, not to mention getting in a hardcore workout every morning!

After a successful weekend, I am going into my new work week back down to 134.2 lbs, down a staggering 7 lbs since Monday last week! I know it’s not realistic or sustainable to lose 7 lbs in one week, and I’m sure much of this is water weight, but it still put me in a great mood this morning and further reinforced my commitment to sticking to this as a lifestyle tweak, not a diet.

Hoping for another great week, and I’ll try to get back to posting daily from this point on, but I make no promises.

~ Tori

The Dopey Challenge: Committed!

On a masochistic whim, I decided to do something very, very crazy: I signed up to complete the Disney Dopey Challenge.

What is the Dopey Challenge, you ask?

It’s running 48.6 miles in four days: a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, and full marathon in a long weekend.

I’m not 100% sure why I decided to sign up …I just did it. It felt right. It felt like something I needed to do.

In January 2017, I’m dragging my husband and some friends to Walt Disney World to spend a weekend running, recovering, and potentially boozing (just a little).

What did I get myself in to?

Thus far, I’ve never run a marathon in my life. In fact, I’ve only run two half marathons, and only one was at a timed race. I’m running in the OUC Half Marathon in December, and less than four weeks later, I somehow think I’m going to run my first marathon – after running 22.4 miles the three days before.

*GULP*

Any suggestions for a good training plan (other than RUN LIKE HELL)?

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Dining at Disney: Cinderella’s Royal Table

For those of you who didn’t know, my husband and I are DISNEY JUNKIES.

Seriously, we’re at the parks almost every weekend. Epcot is our favorite – especially during the Food & Wine or Flower & Garden festivals – but we’ve been recently rediscovering the cuisine of Magic Kingdom and I have to admit we’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Last week was our ninth wedding anniversary (cue the “Awwwwws!”), so I surprised him with reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table, located in the beautiful castle the park is so famous for!

Let it be known, Cinderella’s Royal Table is not something you can do impulsively: you have to book reservations MONTHS in advance, and even then you can’t guarantee you’ll get an ideal time slot. I booked almost three months in advance, and managed to get a 10:15pm reservation for dinner. Not ideal dining time, but beggars can’t be choosers.

There are some caveats to keep in mind with dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table:

  • You pre-pay for dinner. It’s roughly $75 per person, but that covers a soft drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert, plus tax and gratuity.
  • It’s a pre-fix menu, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  • If you don’t like being visited by Disney princesses in full costume throughout your meal, this is not the place for you.
  • NO ALCOHOL. (boooo)

That being said, I was very impressed by the food quality, presentation, and overall experience!

The Menu at Cinderella's Royal Table

The Menu at Cinderella’s Royal Table

The appetizer selection was a bit small – but the cheese tray was scrumptious and my husband said his sea-scallop compote was very nicely plated and surprisingly flavorful.

The dinner entrees, however, were STELLAR. We both enjoyed the filet and shrimp and, though again small portions, they were perfectly cooked and the tenderness of the steak was downright impressive.

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Seriously, this may be small, but it packed a ton of flavor. And the shrimp is almost as wide as the steak!

I was so tickled to see how many gluten-free and allergy-sensitive options they had! They offered vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and diet conscious choices, which was honestly very impressive.

Of course, since we were celebrating our anniversary, we didn’t really follow our normal diets (we both stick closely to Paleo), but rather we enjoyed the bread basket (so delicious!), and got whatever dessert sounded best.

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Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

I tried the flourless chocolate cake (I can’t resist chocolate) and he tried the seasonal dessert, which turned out to be a delicious strawberry cheesecake I ate too quickly to take a picture of – whoops!

All in all, I would definitely recommend Cinderella’s Royal Table to anyone looking for some fine-dining on Disney property with all the fun of a character meet-and-greet. The food was worth the expense (unlike some of the other dining options, which are egregiously overpriced), and the ambiance was lovely.

Naturally, we took lots and lots of photos with the princesses.

 

P.S. It’s probably not a surprise (based on these photos), but we did enjoy a few drinks at Epcot before heading over. Hey, we were celebrating, so it’s 100% acceptable.

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

Tori

Animal Kingdom: The Healthiest Park?

For those who do not know, I am a Disney-holic. My husband and I have annual passes, and we are at one of the four Orlando-based Disney theme parks every weekend. And, most times, we go more than one day.

Theme parks are not normally known as the mecca of healthy options, and everyone knows I am a sucker for sweets, but I’m thrilled to report that Animal Kingdom might be one of the healthiest options for any local or tourist looking to stick to their diet. My reasons?

ONE: You walk everywhere!

The park is mostly outdoor, and spans THOUSANDS of acres. You can easily log 6-7 miles of walking even during a short visit, and can go much longer than that if you take advantage of the HIKING TREK adventure offered in Africa’s Kilimanjaro Safari tours. It’s almost six hours of backpacking through their habitats!

TWO: healthy food options are everywhere!

Not only do they have stands dedicated to gluten-free menus, but even the regular food options are pretty healthy.

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We found hummus with veggies at one stand, and falafel balls (fried, yes, but mostly healthy) with fresh tzatziki sauce!

IMG_7823I wanted to eat all of these myself, but I begrudgingly shared with my husband.

The new Harambe Market features tons of new options, which are mostly grilled chicken, beef, and sausages! It took me a while to find an unhealthy option at the park, and I was happy to see very few patrons were dining there on a beautiful Florida day.

THREE: it’s HOT!

The weather in Florida is scorching in the summer, and most Disney parks have primarily indoor attractions to keep you cool, but not at Animal Kingdom! Most of the Animal Kingdom attractions are outside, so you’re sweating like a fiend. I’m not sure about you, but I absolutely lose my appetite when I’m hot. So I nearly forgot about eating lunch at the park, and it wasn’t until a quick summer shower forced us into the stores around 2pm that I remembered about sneaking in a meal!

While I’ll never stop loving Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom may have stolen my heart as the place to go when I don’t feel like splurging on my diet AND want to see some gorgeous animals.

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

Tori

Birthday Survival

So, I officially survived another year. I’m 31. Yikes!

Saturday, 7/11 was my 31st birthday and it was spent having the time of my life with my husband.

He surprised me with reservations to Disney’s Be Our Guest restaurant, one of the hardest venues to book out of all the dining options. It took him almost a month and a half of constant refreshing on the reservations page, but he did it.

The food was AMAZING, the decor was right out of the movie, and the child in me was on cloud nine for the duration of the evening.

While I did work out that morning, the last thing on my mind was diet — I enjoyed everything I wanted to, and I have no regrets. I spent my 31st birthday with the joy and wonder of a child, and the candy-consumption to match. It was glorious.

Now that the weekend is behind me, though, it’s time to resume my clean eating. I’m not going low-carb, but I am watching my sugars, aiming for high protein, and lots of healthy fats to compliment my veggies. Let’s hope 31 is my healthiest year yet!

Weight: 132.8
Height: 5’3″Pant Size: 4/6
Shirt Size: XS/S
Happiness: OFF THE CHARTS!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Well, they say you should carb-load, right …?

The day before a big race, what do YOU normally do?

Eat a few bananas? Stretch? Have a good, complex-carb rich dinner?

In my case …I go to Epcot with the family. Margaritas! Beer! Good food!

Probably not the best idea before a 7 mile, 25 obstacle foot race, but to each their own.

Wish me luck for tomorrow and let’s pray the Tequila doesn’t give me a hangover …

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori